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Reclaim Your Sex Life

6 must-know facts about erectile dysfunction and other performance issues in older men

3. Healthy lifestyle minimizes risk of ED. Erection depends on blood flow through the penis. Anything that impairs it increases ED risk: smoking, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, being overweight, little regular exercise, more than two alcoholic drinks a day and fewer than five daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Avoiding these risk factors does not prevent post-50 erection changes, but it preserves erection function and helps prevent ED.

4. Drugs are worth trying, but can't work miracles. Erection drugs improve erections in around two-thirds of men, so they don't work for one-third. They do not produce porn-star erections. Over time, many men need larger doses. But as dosage increases, side effects become more likely, notably, headache and nasal congestion. Finally, the drugs have no effect on arousal, so men may raise erections but not feel particularly interested in sex. Many men feel disappointed with the drugs. Fewer than half refill their prescriptions.

5. Erections aren't everything.  Believe it or not, you don't need an erection to have an orgasm. In an erotic context filled with kissing, cuddling, fondling, massage, oral and sex toys, a man with a semi-erect or even flaccid penis can enjoy orgasms as intense as any he ever experienced during intercourse.

6. Erection dissatisfaction can enhance lovemaking. The dark cloud of erection changes has a silver lining. Young couples often have problems because young men become aroused faster than young women. Young men are often all finished before young women have even become aroused. Post-50 erection changes slow men's arousal so their erotic pace more closely matches that of a woman. A slower pace allows plenty of time for kissing, cuddling and whole-body massage, all essential to most women's enjoyment of sex.

When erection dissatisfaction develops, some men decide that's it, sex is over. Others accommodate and continue to enjoy lovemaking as long as they live. The choice is yours.

 Michael Castleman answers sex questions for free at GreatSexAfter40.com

You may also like: How to get what you want in bed. »

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